I have a picture of a man in a background
I want to cut him out of the background
I do not want to delete the background that I cut out.
I just want to mask it so if later i want to bring part of it back i can.
I know i can create a mask on the layer and use the brush tool to paint out what I don't want. But when i paint back on the background I have to guess where the edge of the man is.
I thought there was a way to paint on the alpha channel itself to achieve this effect. A way that would show me Red where the mask is hiding what I don't want to see.
Then if i wanted to touch up the edge of the man, i could see through the Red to know where to paint.
since I'm not certain how you're set-up is, I would suggest that you make a quick selection (Lasso, Ellipse, Rectangle,...) of a part that you want to keep.
Now, press Q. You have just activated the QuickMask tool. Is the part you selected red? or is it the opposite?
I find that some jobs are easier to work on with the Red on the outside, others with the Red on the inside. To revert to normal mode, just hit Q again.
But how do I switch it? you might ask. Look at your main toolbar, right below the Front/Background letter, you'll find it to the right (I am looking at CS2 but it is quite similar in 6, if I recall correctly). When you find the icon, double-click it. The options will appear. You can even change the Red to something else.